Goooooooalllll!! Another ball smashed into the back of your new portable soccer goals by your kid, it doesn't get sweeter than that. If you want to see your child scoring goal after goal in their next game then having your own set of portable soccer goals for them to train on is what will make it happen. Those few hours a week of training with their team won't get them nearly enough repetitions of shooting on goal so having a couple of these bad boys in your backyard will sky rocket their development.
The biggest challenge you will have is choosing the right one with so many options out there claiming to be the very best. Before you break your new portable soccer goals that you haven't even bought yet in your head, have a read below and let all your questions be answered and frustrations just melt away. I guess they could keep kicking a ball and breaking all your lamps and glass in the house but I think we both would prefer if they had a nice net in the backyard instead.
So the only question you need to ask yourself at this point is what size and how many portable soccer goals do I need. The answer will depend on what you're using them for and the space you have available. Coaching a team versus just having some goals in your backyard are two different things that will require different size and amounts of portable soccer goals. So just sit back, relax and let the world of soccer goals unfold in front of your eyes (see what I did there).
1. Can Take a Good Shot - There's no point in spending all that money on a portable goal that falls apart the first time a ball smashes one of it's posts. Be sure that the goal itself is made of a solid hard plastic material and not some flimsy cheap plastic that will fall apart, if you have one with a carbon fibre or metal frame then even better. Feel free to test one out if you know someone that has the portable soccer goals you're thinking of buying, smash some balls agains the post, top shelf and anywhere else so you can see how the net holds up.
2. Quality Mesh - Not only should the structure of the goal be solid but also the mesh too, you want a well knit thick mesh that can catch the ball and give you that sweet sound and feeling of bulging the back of the goal. Have a good look at the thickness of the mesh, that string like thin string is what you want to avoid, look for the thick mesh that's hard to pull on and just feels like it can take a hit. It may seem like a small detail but hitting a ball into a mesh that will last is just a better overall experience for everyone shooting on it so be sure to inspect all aspect of the mesh including the part that hooks onto the goal.
3. Right Size for Right Age - Portable soccer goals come in all different types of shapes and sizes so choosing the right one for your team or kid will make all the difference. As you can imagine the older they get the bigger the size of the net gets so be sure not to get one too small or too big based on their age and skill level.
4. Multi Surface Use (Grass & Turf) - You're going to want to make sure whichever goals you go with that they are both suitable to be used on all surfaces such as grass, turf and even indoor. Some nets have clips where you put into the grass to hold them down while others use weights so be sure you are getting the appropriate anchor for whichever surface you will be using it on most. You can always throw a couple of backpacks, bricks etc to hold the goal down but it's always nice to have the right attachment for your needs.
5. Easy Set Up & Take Down - There's nothing worse then spending a pretty penny on a new goal and it takes you an hour to put it up every time and twice that time to pack it back up. Some goals are more complicated than others so be sure to watch a video or two about which are high quality and easiest to set up and put away. This may not seem like a big deal once you get the hang of it but wait until someone else needs to use it and you have to explain to them on the phone how to set it up, that's where doing a little bit of research before buying will save you all the headaches later.
1. You Get What You Pay For - Stay away from the cheap stuff, it's better to get one high quality goal that you can always rely on practice after practice instead of 4 lower quality goals that fall apart every time you look at them. Try and stay on the medium to higher end grade portable soccer goals where you know you're going to get a quality product. Going too cheap will only cost you more time, frustration and money in the long run because you'll probably be heading back to the store to return it and get another one anyways.
2. Stick to Name Brands - This isn't the time or the piece of equipment you want to start testing out new or unknown brands. Brands such as Bownet and SKLZ are the type of household names you want to rely on when making a purchase such as this one. Their quality and reliability are what they are most known for and the two most important things to consider when being portable soccer goals.
3. Structure Over Look - Like everything in life we want it to work well and look good at the same time, when it comes to portable soccer goals really prioritize the structure of the goal (how sturdy it is, how it can take a shot, the mesh thickness etc) over the nice fancy look and bright colours that come with it. So what if you look good carrying it in its bag if it's a piece of junk when a gust of wind blows it away.
4. Test It Out - If you have a friend that has a portable goal go and test it out yourself to see if it's up to your standards. In case you don't buy the one you did the research on and keep the receipt, hit some balls at it for a couple weeks before you decide you want to keep it or exchange it for another one.
5. Read Reviews Online - Be sure to do your research on these goals and see what people have written about them that have had the opportunity to use them for a long period of time. You can role the dice and choose or learn from others and see how the net held up, how easy it was to put together, take down and their overall satisfaction level with it.
3. Kwik Goal
1. Not Shopping Around - Avoid just rushing to a decision and buying the first goal you google. Ask some people who you know (coaches, players, friends with kids that have bought them before) that may have portable soccer goals of their own. From there you will be able to gage the brand and size of goal you're going to want to go with. Read some reviews and checkout a couple places either online or in person to see what the going rate for a quality goal is before you just swipe that card, you'll thank me later.
2. Buying Too Cheap - We all want to save a few bucks but when it comes to portable soccer goals you want to try and go with Mercedes' slogan, the best or nothing. Settling for a second tier goal will only have you and your kid frustrated and wishing you had bought the one that was going to last. This doesn't mean you have to get the absolute most expensive one but try and stay in the upper tier price range and you will be in good shape.
3. Buying Random Brands - We all know a guy that can hook us up or a family friend who has a contact in Italy but stay away from going to these unknown and untested soccer brands that your cousin swears are the best. Stick to household names and let reviews online and price be your guide for quality and reliability.
4. Not Testing It Out - Always give the net a spin around the block before you decide to buy it. Purchasing something blindly can only lead to frustrations down the road so be sure to take it out of its package, set it up and take it down to see if it's to your liking. In a perfect world you have a friend that has the same net and you can test it out to see if it's what you're looking for.
5. Not Trying to Assemble & Dissemble - Just because the net looks good and can take a shot you should still consider how easy or difficult it is to put up, take down and put in your car. You're going to be doing this task so often you're going to want it to be effortless and stress free so you can be flexible and efficient.
The answer will really depend on what age you're coaching and whether it's for your backyard or the team you're coaching, let's go over the backyard first. No backyard training is complete without portable soccer goals, I would recommend going with two medium sized goals so your kid can do finishing drills both ways and if they ever have friends over they can play a little game. Now as your kid gets older and closer to 15+ you may want to consider having a full sized big goal (if it can fit) in the backyard so they can get practice on the same outdoor big net as in games.
Now if you're coaching a youth team you're going to want to have at least two medium sized goals for any scrimmage or small sided games you're going to want to play. You should also consider one full sized goal so you will always have two full sized goals at practice especially if you're only working with half of a field or if you want to use two full sized goals for any reason.
Finally no practice is complete without some small mini goals for small sided games and other individual drills. These mini goals are great for any drill where you don't need keepers or just targets for the team to aim for. Having two probably isn't enough for a full team of 18-20 players so you're going to want to go with at least four of them. These are by far the easiest to use and unpack, they can also take a good hit and players love hitting balls into them. So there you have it, some big, medium and small goals to give you everything you need in your backyard or at training.